OHIO LADIES SPENDS NIGHT IN WOODS  

lilgirl2400 34F
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11/26/2005 3:47 am

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

OHIO LADIES SPENDS NIGHT IN WOODS


A northeast Ohio woman ordered to spend a night in the woods without food or shelter for her conviction for abandoning 35 kittens was returned to jail after four hours in the snow and cold.

Lake County sheriff's Sgt. Michael Corbut said deputies removed Michelle Murray, 26, of Painesville, from a park in Concord Township early Thursday on orders from the judge.

It was snowing with temperatures in the 20s when she was returned to the Lake County jail.

"I don't have warm enough clothes and I'm not even allowed to bring a sleeping bag," she said before she began her sentence Wednesday night. "I don't understand how a judge can send me out there to freeze."

Painesville Municipal Court Judge Michael A. Cicconetti, known for handing out unusual punishments, sentenced Murray last week to the night in the park, 14 days in jail, 15 days of house arrest and three years probation.

She also must pay $3,200 in restitution to Lake County Humane Society and $500 to Lake Metroparks. She had faced up to 90 days in jail and a $750 fine. Murray, a mother of five, agreed to the night in the woods because she said she couldn't be away from her children for three months.

The National Weather Service predicted a low of about 25 degrees and 2 to 4 inches of snow accumulation overnight Wednesday in Lake County.

Murray pleaded guilty last month to abandoning domestic animals, a second-degree misdemeanor. She said she did it because she couldn't get help from the Lake County Humane Society.

The kittens were recovered but many had upper respiratory infections and nine died.

Cicconetti said park rangers would take precautions to ensure Murray's safety.

Murray's attorney filed a motion Wednesday to amend her sentence from jail to 30 days probation, but Cicconetti delayed his ruling on the request.

Painesville is about 30 miles northeast of Cleveland

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